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Confidential Mission (Dreamcast) artwork

Confidential Mission (Dreamcast) review


"When Confidential Mission, a standard light gun title by Hitmaker, was released, quite a number of creative games in the genre had come and gone. During the mid '90s, Namco unveiled Time Crisis, a game that gave you the ability, with the help of a foot pedal, to take cover from attacks. Silent Scope, by Konami, actually makes you wield a sniper rifle to locate targets from absurd distances. Hell, Police 911, released the same year CM was ported to the Dreamcast, has sensors impleme..."



When Confidential Mission, a standard light gun title by Hitmaker, was released, quite a number of creative games in the genre had come and gone. During the mid '90s, Namco unveiled Time Crisis, a game that gave you the ability, with the help of a foot pedal, to take cover from attacks. Silent Scope, by Konami, actually makes you wield a sniper rifle to locate targets from absurd distances. Hell, Police 911, released the same year CM was ported to the Dreamcast, has sensors implemented inside its cabinet, so that the shooter in the game can react to the player's body movements. But hey, even though CM may just be a normal light gun release, it probably offers some innovative gameplay!

It so doesn't. In fact, CM decides to use Virtua Cop's gameplay template, and follows it so closely to the point that gamers could mistake it for a side-game. Its environments aren't even that great; wanna know where the first mission takes place? A museum... You'll have a shootout at a museum. And the boss? He's a short, fat man that constantly hides from you. The setting for the second mission is absurdly unimaginative, using something that has appeared to death in many light gun titles before: a train. How about the final stage? It takes place in some island fortress that's filled to the brim with grey walls and crates. Don't even get me started on what is possibly one of the dumbest-looking end bosses I've ever seen: he has a suit that makes him invisible, but it looks like he's wearing a bunch of mini TVs with bad reception. Doesn't help that he has an eye patch and Oates' mustache.

So why is it that a game that sounds like it's destined for failure ends up being quite fun to play?

Well, despite the fact that CM is a very basic title, that doesn't mean the gameplay is boring. The action is pretty fast-paced, pitting you against legions of soldiers, guards, and... more soldiers popping out of every damn corner to kill you. Throw panicking civilians into the mix, and you'll need to really rely on your eye and hand coordination to make it through the game. And if you want more than just the Arcade mode, you can try your hand at the Agent Academy training courses. Now, don't let the word "training" fool you, because most of the courses are pretty hardcore compared to the normal game, pushing your reflex skills to the limit. You really need to invest in a light gun controller just to get past them, and even then, they're tough as hell. Then there's Another World mode, where enemy and civilian placements have been mixed around in the main game. It truly doesn't sound like much, but it ends up being tougher than the original, especially with civilians placed in situations that force you to fire through them. Shoot, there's even a mode where you and a second player have to play a game of tag team to shoot all the enemies.

I know what I'm describing sounds, more or less, like a Virtua Cop game, and I don't blame you for thinking that. It basically is another Virtua Cop game, except it's from a different development team, and you play as spies instead of police officers. It is what it is, and is pretty unapologetic about it. Thank God the gameplay turned out good.

Rating: 7/10

pickhut's avatar
Community review by pickhut (July 18, 2009)

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zippdementia posted July 18, 2009:

"When Confidential Mission, a standard light gun title by Hitmaker, was released, quite a number of creative games in the genre have come and gone."

I think you mean HAD come and gone.

There's a lot of little things like this in the review that make it tough to read. Like this one:

"I know what I'm describing sounds, more or less, like a Virtua Cop game, and I don't blame you for that."

Well... I hope you don't blame me for it. I didn't make the game.

Also, while I appreciate the brevity of the review, it doesn't help to sell me on a score of 7 and the conclusion that the gameplay saves what sounds like a terrible game. You're gonna have to do more explanation than that to get away with such a drastic shift in focus from "god, terrible game" to "awesome... well sort've awesome!"
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pickhut posted July 18, 2009:

Whoops, never noticed that about that second sentence. I must have been drifting off when I wrote that... and all the times I read the review before submitting it.

As for the review as a whole, I think it stands up quite well. The point was that it wasn't a terribly imaginative game, but it still held up in the gameplay department, where it mattered the most. And there's really not much else to say about the game. The only possible way I could drag the review out for another few paragraphs was if I explained how a light gun game functions...
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zippdementia posted July 19, 2009:

I should have been clearer. I'm not complaining about the length, I'm complaining about what you choose to do with it. A line like:

"You really need to invest in a light gun controller just to get past them, and even then, they're tough as hell..."

... doesn't convince me that this is any kind of good game. In fact, it makes it sound like something that definitely belonged in an arcade, not on a console, and brings up disturbing memories of RE: Gun Survivor.
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zigfried posted July 19, 2009:

Dreamcast light gun games could be played with the controller or with the gun. All that line means is that you should really make sure to buy a gun if you want full enjoyment from the game. Challenge is a positive quality.

I agree with the review's overall assessment, although I think I found the levels more inherently exciting than Pickhut did.

//Zig
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EmP posted July 19, 2009:

The game gave you a gum gun to plug up gas holes -- that's inovative as hell!
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pickhut posted July 19, 2009:

Dreamcast light gun games co... what Zig said.

As for the gum gun, it would have been great if they let you play with it as a bonus item throughout the entire game, instead of only for just 10 seconds.

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